After nearly two years of negotiations, California’s state leaders approved a massive spending package intended to fix up our state’s aging and dilapidated transportation systems. Thanks to years of advocacy from TransForm and our allies, the final bill — known as SB 1 — included dramatic increases in funding for the things we care most about: public transportation, walking, and biking.
SB 1 included nearly $1 billion — or nearly 20% — for sustainable transportation, from dedicated (and therefore more reliable) funding sources. That’s a stark contrast to early versions that would have invested only 5% from unpredictable sources like cap-and-trade revenues. And the roadway investments in the bill were largely restricted to repairs, which should be our top priority after years of neglect.
SB 1 wasn’t perfect by any means. In fact, TransForm officially opposed the bill with a coalition of over 80 organizations after a last-minute deal with the trucking industry resulted in a provision to weaken air pollution regulations. And lawmakers were unable to include even a basic statement of values for environmental justice.
But the positives in the bill showed the impact of our state-level efforts over the past eight years to build a movement in Sacramento for real transportation choices. Overall, SB 1 represents a giant leap forward for state transportation spending that will make California’s communities safer, healthier, and more connected.